Brian Anderson returned to North Carolina on Saturday. Although the status of a possible offer expectedly remained unchanged, he was able to immerse himself into the student life of UNC.
“I got to hang out with Charlie [Heck] and a bunch of his friends on the team and watched the [Final Four basketball] game,” Anderson said. “And afterwards Jonah [Melton] and I went down to Franklin Street and saw everybody running around there.
“It was just mind opening to me to see how crazy the school spirit is and how much diversity that I saw between athletes and non-athletes. Just anybody that bled that Tar Heel Blue was out there supporting that basketball team. That definitely goes the same way with football; maybe not on the same level, but it’s definitely up there. I got to see how much campus spirit there is. That was just an exciting and unique thing to be able to experience for myself.”
Anderson, 6-foot-3, 272-pound offensive lineman from Montgomery (Ala.) Catholic, prearranged to spend the night with Heck, a red-shirt offensive lineman. Joining them for the night was Melton, an in-state O-line pledge.
The aforementioned trio watched the Final Four in the dorm room of Tommy Hatton, another red-shirt freshman offensive lineman.
In addition to Melton, Anderson spent ample time with a second UNC verbal commitment, Ryan Jones.
“Really, I just got to talk to them about their commitments,” Anderson said. “Why Carolina? They gave me some new ways to view things whenever I’m looking at a school.”
Before enjoying a night on campus, Anderson attended the “Freak Fest” junior day. Throughout the event, he spoke often with Chris Kapilovic, UNC’s offensive line coach.
“We kind of already established the last piece for him,” Anderson said. “The last piece for him before a potential offer is just seeing me in spring and making sure everything is up to par and he sees everything that he wants to see.
“We just kind of talked about that for a little bit. And then, the main thing he did he made sure I got set up with Charlie Heck – because I was spending the night with him – and got up with Jonah.”
Kapilovic hasn’t nailed down an exact date for his evaluation trip. But, his visit will coincide with Montgomery Catholic’s spring practice, which begins May 2. Although Anderson plays left tackle for Montgomery Catholic, he’ll take reps at center when Kap is in attendance since that’s the position he’s recruiting Anderson to play.
Although galvanized by his second UNC visit – he previously attended the Tar Heels’ victory over Duke – an offer may not immediately incite a commitment from Anderson.
“I was really impressed on Thursday with my Wake Forest visit, so I’m really just in turn viewing all my options,” Anderson said. “If I do get that [UNC] offer, I think it really might come close, I won’t say between those two schools because during the spring some other big schools could pop up as well.
“But really, if I get that North Carolina offer, I’m just going to view my options carefully. And then I don’t really have a set commit date. But, [the UNC offer] is definitely going to open my options a lot more as far as being closer and closer to committing because it’s going to open more doors for me. There is a good chance that I may go there, but there’s a chance I could go to a lot of other schools. I can’t really say for sure what would happen after the offer.”
The prelude to the “Freak Fest” was a UNC scrimmage.
“I loved it,” Anderson said. “It was very high paced. It’s good to see that rain or shine they’re going full speed ahead. I really just saw a lot of intensity and players getting after it. As soon as I walked into the stadium, the first thing I saw was probably one of the hardest hits I’ve seen in person – Ryan Switzer getting hit. I’m glad he’s okay, but it was definitely a big hit and opened my eyes, ‘Well, it’s on.’”
Sandwiched between his trips to Wake Forest and UNC was a last-minute East Carolina visit. He has also visited Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Tulane.
Anderson is not finished with spring trips, but doesn’t have any definite plans set. With that said, Mississippi State recently reached out and asked him to visit.